Over the last few weeks, I have had the privilege of interning at a neuroscience lab at the University of Calgary. The surreal feeling of being overwhelmed and not being able to believe what you are doing or what is going on around you – that is how I felt arriving at U of C. My nerves were quickly calmed on the first day when I was welcomed by my friendly colleagues and I knew at once that this was going to be an implausible experience.
With my internship, I had a chance to explore two sides of the field of neuroscience: research and clinical. In my first week, I was able to understand how specialized physicians handle unique and difficult cases that related to the nervous system. I also learnt about many nerve disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome and neurofibromatosis. Through this experience, my interest in this field has been reinforced.
My second and third week mainly consisted of work at the neuroscience lab and it was definitely the place to be! Amidst the microscopes and scent of lab mice, I was introduced to the research project that I was going to be a part of. My mentor led me through my role which included cutting nerves, imaging tissue, outlining cells in the image and quantifying data.
The most significant concept I have learnt is the way researchers ask questions in order to further their investigations. At every step of the way, they are critically thinking about possible errors in their approach and ways to improve the final outcome. I hope to engrain this practice within me as I move forward. Today marks the start of my last week at the University of Calgary and I am grateful to SHAD and the faculty at U of C for letting me be a part of such an amazing opportunity.